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July 18, 2014 0

Hackers Strike Pennsylvania Synagogue Website Over Gaza

Update — Octo­ber 8: The Moroc­can Islamic Union-Mail claimed credit for hack­ing into the Mass­a­chu­setts Mar­itime Academy’s web­site in defense of  the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Update — July 21: A sim­i­lar hack by the Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail tar­geted a con­gre­ga­tion in Hous­ton over the weekend.

Polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ers from the Arab world have once again tar­geted Jew­ish web­sites in the United States. The Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail hacker group claimed respon­si­bil­ity today for van­dal­iz­ing the web­site of Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Am Israel in Penn Val­ley, Pennsylvania.moroccan-islamic-union-mail-facebook

The group posted a mes­sage on the defaced syn­a­gogue web­site stat­ing, “end Israeli vio­lence in #Gaza” with an image of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Pales­tin­ian who was killed ear­lier this month in Jerusalem by what appears to be a group of Jew­ish extremists.

As state­ment posted on the Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail Face­book page claimed respon­si­bil­ity for the hack, describ­ing the syn­a­gogue as “A Zion­ist Assembly.”

Last week, posts threat­en­ing Israel “with major oper­a­tions” and “strong elec­tronic attacks” appeared on the group’s Face­book page after Israel began its mil­i­tary oper­a­tion to stop Hamas’s rocket attacks from Gaza.

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Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail take credit for hack on Facebook

The Moroc­can Islamic Union-mail also claimed on its Face­book page that it is affil­i­ated with the Moroc­can Ghosts, another hacker group respon­si­ble for a series of attacks on Jew­ish web­sites in the United States over the past two years.

The Moroc­can Ghosts re-emerged in recent days with a wave of new attacks on a num­ber of Israeli web­sites, includ­ing the web­site of the Help­ing Hand Coali­tion, an Israeli orga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides tes­ti­monies from Holo­caust Sur­vivors (its web­site is hosted in Illi­nois). The Moroc­can Ghosts posted a pro­pa­ganda video for the Qass­sam Brigades, the mil­i­tary wing of Hamas, in Hebrew threat­en­ing Israelis with retaliation.

ADL offers guid­ance to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions regard­ing online and dig­i­tal security.

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May 13, 2014 0

Al Shabaab English Video Includes Calls For “Lone Wolf” Attacks

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Image from the con­clu­sion of Al-Shabaab’s new video

A new English-language video issued by Al Shabaab, the Somali Al Qaeda affil­i­ate, calls on Mus­lims liv­ing abroad to either under­take “a lone wolf mis­sion” in their home coun­tries or to travel abroad to join for­eign ter­ror­ist organizations.

Al Shabaab has long been active in recruit­ing West­ern­ers, and par­tic­u­larly Amer­i­cans, to its cause. Between 2007 and 2012, over 60 U.S. cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents attempted to aid or join the ter­ror­ist organization.

The video comes in the midst of an upsurge in sophis­ti­cated English-language pro­pa­ganda dis­sem­i­nated by ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions over the inter­net that is aimed at encour­ag­ing Amer­i­cans and other West­ern­ers to under­take vio­lent actions.

Other Al Qaeda groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, have long advised their ide­o­log­i­cal adher­ents to under­take lone wolf attacks and domes­tic rad­i­cal­iza­tion rather than travel abroad.

How­ever, Al Shabaab had pre­vi­ously been more focused on strength­en­ing its orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia. By pre­sent­ing Mus­lims abroad with a choice between mate­r­ial sup­port and lone wolf action rather than only call­ing on them to travel to Soma­lia, though, this video may mark a shift in Al Shabaab’s strategy.

The video is the fifth in a series called “Mujahideen Moments” but is the first to be pre­sented exclu­sively in English.

In addi­tion to its call for vio­lent activ­ity, it also ref­er­ences Al Shabaab’s 2013 attack on the West­gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, as a pos­i­tive exam­ple for those con­tem­plat­ing ter­ror­ism abroad.

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May 6, 2014 0

Moroccan Ghosts Hackers Deface Jewish Websites In U.S.

The Moroc­can Ghosts, a polit­i­cally moti­vated hacker group that tar­get­s the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the United States, struck again last month when it defaced the web­sites of four Jew­ish insti­tu­tions belong­ing to the Union for Reform Judaism.moroccan-ghosts-hack-jewish-institutions-facebook ghosts

The hack­ers defaced the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Col­orado, New Jer­sey, Mass­a­chu­setts and Geor­gia with an image of an indi­vid­ual wrapped in what appears to be a Pales­tin­ian flag and a state­ment say­ing, “When injus­tice becomes law … Resis­tance becomes a duty.”

A state­ment boast­ing about this lat­est cyber-attack on the Moroc­can Ghosts Face­book page read:  “Hack­ing 4 for­mal Zion­ist tem­ples in Amer­ica or in more accu­rate words [4] dirty places to con­spire and plot against Palestine.”

In response to the hack, ADL con­tacted Face­book to alert them to the page claim­ing respon­si­bil­ity for the hack and to urge them to inves­ti­gate the sit­u­a­tion. The Face­book page has sub­se­quently been removed.

In 2012, Moroc­can Ghosts defaced Jew­ish con­gre­ga­tional web­sites with their logo and an hour-long video deny­ing the Holocaust.

This lat­est cyber-attack is part of a larger trend of polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ings tar­get­ing the web­sites of per­ceived sup­port­ers of Israel. ADL offers guid­ance to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions regard­ing online and dig­i­tal security.

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